Tree mementoes

Photo: Wikimedia

Somehow we missed the 30th anniversary of the felling of the George Green chestnut tree which took place in December 1993 following an epic People-v-Diggers battle which catapulted Wanstead into the national news night after night.

It was all about the M11 link road – what we now know as the A12 – which cut right through Wanstead and Leytonstone, changing these places for ever but also meaning it’s possible to get to and from the A406 and the motorway.

Some years ago there was a hope that the last remnants of the tree, in which protesters lived for months (and which – false urban legend had it – was given its own postcode), would be saved for a memorial. That didn’t happen, but surely something should mark the event

Local artist Andrea Marsh would be grateful to hear from anyone who has mementoes, posters, letters, leaflets, or other archive material to be included in a work marking the event. She can be contacted through us at

Nifty calendar wheeze

Bravo to Don Taylor who, last summer, had an idea: create a charity calendar for 2024 using only photos of Epping Forest taken by local photographers.

“I contacted six photographers, four from the Wanstead area, and they all kindly agreed to submit photographs. Feedback from the photographers led to a better layout and content. We went into print in late August and sales steadily increased and we ended up with just under 500 sold. Advertising was pretty much only by social media and by word of mouth,” he said.

All the calendars sold, and more than £3,000 was raised and shared between the Swan Sanctuary and the Epping Forest Heritage Trust.

Wansteadium’s most read for 2023

Somewhat delayed but it’s our tradition, once a year, to take a look back at the stories that got the most attention in the preceding 12 months.

Farewell Marmiton. Welcome Alba. (June)
Wanstead’s NatWest to close (July)
Wanstead Youth Centre to remain open as ‘education and youth hub’ (Sept)
Wanstead Youth Centre campaigners: ‘Wait a year’ (March)
Plan for four-storey flats on Evergreen Field submitted (August)
We don’t know what this is (March)
Blake Hall Road closed for a week (May)
The future of Wanstead Youth Centre (February)
Uncertain times for Wiseman Lee customers (October)
Home & Away star joins Wanstead Fringe (September)
Wanstead Fringe 2023 – dates announced (May)
Three screens for Wanstead? (January)

There were, as far as we can tell, 430,000 visits from Wansteadium readers to this site in 2023. As ever the best way to keep in touch with us is to sign up for our email newsletter which comes never more than once a day.

Evergreen wait goes on

Image via Redbridge Planning

The wait for the verdict from Redbridge planners on the application to build flats on the Evergreen Field on Wanstead High Street goes on…

Originally scheduled for the autumn, decision day was put back until the start of January, and now is due at the end of the month. Whatever decision the planners come up with is bound to be contested, either by the developer or by the rest of Wanstead*. This is what 2024 is going to look like.

(Our original report on the application is here. )

Wanstead Christmas church services 2023

Christmas Eve

4pm Crib Service for younger children at Christ Church

4pm Nativity Service at Wanstead United Reformed Church, Nightingale Lane

4.30pm Children’s Carol Service at Grace Church, Wanstead House

5pm First Mass of Christmas at Our Lady of Lourdes

6pm Family communion for all the family at Christ Church

7pm Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes

9.30pm Carols followed by Midnight Mass at  10.00 p.m at Our Lady of Lourdes

11.30pm Midnight mass at Christ Church

Christmas Day

9.30am Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes

10am Christmas Day service at St Mary’s, Overton Drive

10am Christmas Day service at Wanstead Baptist Church, Wellington Rd

11.15am Christmas Day Service at Wanstead Grace Church, Wanstead House

11.30am Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes

(Please report any more to or add in comments below.)